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Joint High Speed Vessel - JHSV

The Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV) is a shallow draft, all aluminum, commercial-based Catamaran capable of intra-theater personnel and cargo lift providing combatant commanders high-speed sealift mobility with inherent cargo handling capability and agility to achieve positional advantage over operational distances. Bridging the gap between low-speed sealift and high-speed airlift, the JHSV will transport personnel, equipment, and supplies over operational distances with access to littoral offload points including austere, minor and degraded ports in support of the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT)/Theater Security Cooperation Program (TSCP); Intra-theater Operational/Littoral Maneuver and Sustainment; and Seabasing. The JHSV will enable the rapid projection, agile maneuver, and sustainment of modular, tailored forces in response to a wide range of military and civilian contingencies such as Non-Combatant Evacuation Operations, humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief.

The JHSV is designed to transport 600 short tons of military cargo 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots in sea state 3. The ship is capable of operating in shallow-draft ports and waterways, interfacing with roll-on/roll-off discharge facilities, and on/off-loading a combat-loaded Abrams Main Battle Tank (M1A2). The JHSV will includes a flight deck for helicopter operations and an off-load ramp that will allow vehicles to quickly drive off the ship. The ramp will be suitable for the types of austere piers and quay walls common in developing countries. JHSVs shallow draft (under 15 feet) will further enhance littoral operations and port access. This makes the JHSV an extremely flexible asset for support of a wide range of operations including maneuver and sustainment, relief operations in small or damaged ports, flexible logistics support, or as the key enabler for rapid transport.

JHSV is a commercial-design, non-combatant transport vessel, and does not require the development of any new technology. JHSV is being built to American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) High Speed Naval Craft Guide HNSC 2007. Systems onboard will be based on commercial design and certified in accordance with ABS rules. As such, it does not require the survivability and ability to sustain damage like the LCS. It leverages non-developmental or commercial technology that is modified to suit military applications. Select military features include Aviation; Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and (Military) Intelligence; Firefighting for the Mission Bay; and four (4) .50 Caliber Machine Guns. NVR does not apply to any part of JHSV.

JHSVs will have a crew of 22 people, but will have airline style seating for more than 312 embarked troops and fixed berthing for104. Military Sealift Command (MSC) will operate and sustain the JHSVs. JHSV will be allocated via Global Force Management (GFM) for Theater Security Cooperation (TSC), service unique missions, intra-theater sealift, and special missions.
On Nov. 13, 2008, the Navy awarded Austal USA, Mobile, Ala., a $185,433,564 fixed-price incentive contract modification for detail design and construction (DD&C) of one Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV). The contract modification also includes options for the construction of up to nine additional ships and associated shore-based spares. All contract options have been awarded.

The Navy has accepted delivery of four JHSVs with USNS Millinocket (JHSV 3) and USNS Fall River (JHSV 4) delivering on March 21, 2014 and Sept. 15, 2014 respectively. USNS Trenton (JHSV 5) launched on Sept. 30, 2014 and is slated to deliver in spring 2015.

The program initially divided the 10 prospective ships of the JHSV class into five ships for assignment to the Army and five ships for assignment to the Navy. However, both services agreed to transfer the Army's five JHSVs to the Navy at the Army/Navy Warfighter Talks in December 2010. Both departments signed a memorandum of agreement May 2 transferring all five of the Army's joint high-speed vessels to the Navy. All 10 JHSVs will now be assigned to the Navy.
Point Of Contact
Office of Corporate Communication (SEA 00D)
Naval Sea Systems Command
Washington, D.C. 20376
General Characteristics
USNS Spearhead (JHSV 1), Delivered
Burlington (JHSV 10), under construction
USNS Choctaw County (JHSV 2), Delivered
USNS Millinocket (JHSV 3), Delivered
USNS Fall River (JHSV 4), Delivered
Trenton (JHSV 5), under construction
Brunswick (JHSV 6), under construction
Carson City (JHSV 7), under construction
Yuma (JHSV 8), under construction
USNS City of Bismarck (JHSV 9), under construction
Last Update: 14 September 2015